Caribbean Export Development Agency highlights tourism, music, film, digital services as key areas that can create more jobs
BRIDGETOWN, BARBADOS — The micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) of the Caribbean can drive job growth, especially through digitization in a “post-COVID” environment.
This is according to the Caribbean Export Development Agency, the only regional trade and investment promotion agency in the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) group.
The organization noted that the Caribbean must “look to areas such as business, cultural and recreational services, where we leverage the strengths of our MSMEs and the natural creativity of our people” to create more jobs region-wide.
Caribbean Employment Services Inc., the region’s leading online talent acquisition service, likewise believes the local talent market has a wealth of untapped potential that could lead to gainful employment opportunities if taken advantage of.
As an organization that aims to connect jobseekers with the best companies throughout the Caribbean, we have closely monitored employment in our region.
While we note many countries have rapidly recovered from the COVID-19 pandemic, with numerous nations reporting improved employment statistics, we also note that even more jobs could be created through innovation and digitization amongst MSMEs.
MSMEs can drive job growth
The Caribbean Development Bank has noted that 70 to 85 percent of Caribbean businesses are MSMEs.
Additionally, these MSMEs account for around 50 percent of Caribbean jobs, and they contribute 60 to 70 percent of GDP.
These statistics show that MSMEs can have a significant impact on employment should they embrace innovation that would lead to further growth.
In particular, the Caribbean Export Development Agency identified tourism, music and film as sectors with a lot of MSMEs that can drive job growth.
It noted, “One sector that has a wealth of MSMEs is tourism, and despite the quest for diversification, tourism as a service remains at the forefront of Caribbean economies…
“In addition, music and services surrounding music production generate a suite of employment opportunities by MSMEs.”
With regards to film, the Caribbean Export Development Agency said, “Another area that offers potential to create jobs by MSMEs is animation and film.
“Both sectors saw a steady boost in revenue over the past year, particularly during the continuous COVID-19 lockdowns.”
But the organization also highlighted digital creative services like streaming as “a great opportunity for Caribbean content creators to showcase our unique Caribbean culture in amination, games and films, which can be a significant revenue earner for our region”.